True Love
August 16, 2007

If you read this blog regularly, then you know that I'm not a health-food freak by any stretch of the imagination. My favorite foods tend to be both horrible for the body and embarrassing for the ego.

We do, however, try to keep things relatively healthy on a day-to-day basis. You know--wheat instead of white, water instead of soda, organic when it's on sale (I can't afford the mortgage on most organic muffins), blah, blah, blah. The one thing that we're pretty stick-up-the-bum about is high fructose corn syrup. We don't let it into our house.

Let me revise that: We USUALLY don't let it into our house.

Somehow, when we were grocery shopping on Monday, Jared didn't realize that high fructose corn syrup was the very first ingredient in the store brand pink-lemonade-from-concentrate that retails for seventy-nine cents.

Yeah, I'm not sure how he missed that one either.

Anyway, we were having a barbecue type dinner tonight, and I thought the pink lemonade would be fun, so I mixed it up. James watched in utter amazement from his high chair as I mixed the neon goop with four cans of water and stirred it all together. And when he realized that this crazy pink stuff was actually meant for drinking, well, let's just say he shouted for joy.

There was no doubt in my mind that when translated into adult-speak, his happy little shrieks actually meant: WOMAN, YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR HEAD IF YOU THINK I'M NOT GETTING ANY OF THAT. THE PINK STUFF GOES IN THE SIPPY CUP. NOW.

So I avoided the inevitable conflict and filled his cup with some watered-down lemonade. He took one sip, removed the cup from his lips, held it to his chest with both hands, pointed his eyes toward the ceiling and let out a deep breath as if to say: FINALLY, MY LIFE ON THIS EARTH HAS MEANING. THANK YOU,THANK YOU OH GREAT ONE.

He went on, slowly drinking his lemonade through dinner, smacking his fat little lips after each sip. Somehow, I think James knew that this drink of the gods was an administrative oversight, and tonight would be the last time he would experience such rapture until the age of eighteen, because he didn't slurp it down all at once. He enjoyed it.

After dinner he still hadn't finished his lemonade, but insisted on carrying his cup around as he played. His green monkey puppet had a pretend sip of juice, his teddy-bear-rocking-chair had a pretend sip of juice, and his caveman action figure got a pretend sip of juice.

I left the room for a minute and came back to find James sitting in front of the fireplace, having some sort of an emotional moment with his sippy cup. Jared and I kind of laughed and Jared asked, "James buddy, whatcha doing?"

And James replied, "Daddy, I uggen da duce."

"Ohhhhhh," we said in unison.

James was 'hugging his juice.'


Amy said...

Great story! I bet he will remember it forever!

MillerFam said...

Honestly, could he be any cuter? Gosh, darn. LOVED that story. We don't really do the high fructose corn syrup either, and boy howdy, my kids act about the same when they have it too. Let's just say Chloe has a love affair with a Caprisun the minute she sees one at a picnic. Anyhow. Just wanted to give a shout out to cute lil' James. Keep hugn' that juice cutie pie!

Penny said...

Love that you gave him the opportunity to share his high-fructose-corn-syrup-imitation pink lemonaid concoction with his stuffed friends! :-)

Seriously, he is the cutest kid! Love this story.

Amy said...

You nailed the source of my marital strife! I'm more of an organic healthy girl, but Paul thinks he must have Froot Loops for breakfast every morning and a huge stash of Classic Coke in the pantry at all times. How'm I supposed to teach James healthy eating habits when his father introduced him to Coke and Froot Loops before he even reached his first birthday? Then again, how can you deny your child something that brings him so much joy? Parental quandaries, I tell you.

Vanilla said...

That's a great story but I'm beginning to question my parenting skills now.

Last night I gave my boys chocolate chip waffles with syrup to dip it in for dinner and then told them that if they were good and finished their 'dinner' I'd give them Ice Cream Sundae's.

Jess said...

I have hugged the juice before -- it was just part gin as well.

Michemily said...

I used to mix together some Kool-Aid, first thing, every afternoon when I got home. It wasn't exactly amazing-tasting, but it just hit the spot when you've just walked home from school in the heat, you know? My mom finally told me that I needed to stop it, so I made a deal with her: as long as she'd keep the fridge stocked with 100% fruit juice, I wouldn't drink any more Kool-Aid. She's been pretty darn good about it. What am I doing, moving to some other country where I'll have to buy my own fruit juice?!?

Anonymous said...

James..too bad you weren't with me at the store the other day. The free sample lady was ginging out Fruit Loops cookie sticks and peanut butter filled giant M and M's...Grandma was loitering there! xo